Full text: Mrs. Dalloway

MRS. DALLOWAY 
must also write, and see that things generally were more 
or less in order. 
Strange, she thought, pausing on the landing, and 
assembling that diamond shape, that single person, 
strange how a mistress knows the very moment, the 
very temper of her house! Faint sounds rose in spirals 
up the well of the stairs; the swish of a mop; tapping; 
knocking; a loudness when the front door opened; a 
voice repeating a message in the basement; the chink 
of silver on a tray; clean silver for the party. All was 
for the party. 
(And Lucy, coming into the drawing-room with her 
tray held out, put the giant candlesticks on the mantel- 
piece, the silver casket in the middle, turned the crystal 
dolphin towards the clock. They would come; they 
would stand; they would talk in the mincing tones 
which she could imitate, ladies and gentlemen. Of all, 
her mistress was loveliest—mistress of silver, of linen, of 
china, for the sun, the silver, doors off their hinges, 
Rumpelmayer’s men, gave her a sense, as she laid the 
paper-knife on the inlaid table, of something achieved. 
Behold! Behold! she said, speaking to her old friends in 
the baker’s shop, where she had first seen service at 
Caterham, prying into the glass. She was Lady Angela, 
attending Princess Mary, when in came Mrs. Dallo- 
way.) 
“Oh, Lucy,” she said, “the silver does look nice! 
“And how,” she said, turning the crystal dolphin to 
stand straight, “how did you enjoy the play last night ?”’ 
“Oh, they had to go before the end!” she said. “They 
had to be back at ten!” she said. “So they don’t know 
what happened,” she said. “That does seem hard 
luck,” she said (for her servants stayed later, if they 
asked her). “That does seem rather a shame,” she said, 
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